Chinese corporations and the scramble for resources. A study in the Oil Business

Suresh George, Stefania Paladini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geopolitics appears to be increasingly back in fashion, and geoeconomics is gaining the limelight in the form of state competition for natural resources. While the security implications are diverse, and the doctrine is divided about the consequences in term of likelihood of conflicts, it has resulted in increased international tensions on strategic materials. China is at the very centre of this scramble, and there is quite an amount of attention devoted to China’s economic growth as well as its possible imperialistic aspirations in today’s world.
This article explores resource-seeking Chinese corporations, especially the ones involved in the oil business, and the consequences in term of security issues at a geopolitical level. While the duality conflict / cooperation is taken into account, this research focuses on oil corporations from China and India, which aggressively try to secure markets and resources. They generally compete against MNCs both from the OECD countries and from other emerging players. In order to illustrate the challenges this phenomenon involves, the analysis will use a specific case-study, PetroChina (and its parent CNOOC), showing the way they are involved in acquisition of resources abroad and how this has put them on a collision route with ONGC and ONGC Videsh Ltd, Indian companies involved in the same activity. Finally, it will look at the rivalry between India and China in economic and geopolitical terms as well within the context of broader global economic issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalL'Espace Politique
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2011


  • Geopolitics
  • China
  • India
  • Oil
  • Conflict
  • Competition
  • PetroChina


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